Anal Chim Acta 2007 Sep 15;599(2):191-8. Epub 2007 Aug 15.
Water Research Institute, National Research Council (IRSA-CNR), Via Reno 1, 00198 Rome, Italy.
The analysis of some Italian mineral waters by ICP-MS has revealed errors in the determination of As and Cr in natural effervescent or carbonated waters due to the presence of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). This leads to overestimate As and Cr in 1% (v/v) HNO3 acidified samples, analysed within 1-2 h after the acidification. The overestimation of As concentration is caused by matrix interferences producing a signal enhancement due to the presence of dissolved inorganic carbon. This effect is analogous to that observed in the presence of organic carbon and occurs at millimolar DIC levels. The overestimation of Cr concentration is due to the 40Ar12C+ species interfering with 52Cr+ despite the use of the octopole reaction system. The optimization of the He flow in the collision cell can solve the latter problem, but the required increase in the flow rate decreases the sensitivity of the ICP-MS technique. The observed effects in CO2 rich mineral waters and artificial NaHCO3 solutions suggest that 5-10 mM DIC levels may affect the determination of As and Cr concentration in thermal waters, rivers, lakes and groundwaters.